Thursday, March 6, 2014

donor egg decisions

This donor egg situation is a whole new world. 
I may be an infertility veteran (going on 6 years should qualify) 
but I had no idea how many decisions we'd need to make on this new path. 

Here are just a few.
known or anonymous donor?
fresh or frozen egg cycle?
exclusive or shared cycle?
international or domestic?
standard or guarantee program?
in-house or third-party agency?

And then the second tier questions like…
what clinic to cycle at?
who has the best success rates?
what agency do we go with?
what kind of screening do they do?
how much is the cycle going to cost?
what attorney to use for the legal documents?
what therapist to use for the required counseling?

And what about our donor?
tall or short?
blonde or brunette?
caucasian, hispanic, italian?
blue, hazel, green or brown eyes?
what characteristics are most important?
a donor that has cycled before or a newbie?

We don't have all of the answers yet.
It is a lot to consider.

But I've been thinking…
and might've found a silver lining in this whole egg donor scenario.
I was always been afraid that I'd pass on endometriosis to my child if I had a girl. 
Now maybe I can give my baby even better genes than I have
and still manage to keep my better half represented
…which is my husband.


conceptionallychallenged said...

These sound like tough decisions, and I'm sorry you have to make them. But I do love that you can see a silver lining.

Amanda said...

Oh man… I haven't even started and I feel overwhelmed. I'm trying to do "light" research for donor eggs, donor embryos, domestic and international adoption… ha… no such thing as light. You're either in or your out, because there are 8 million questions and decisions to make about ALL of it.

Excited for you to start this new chapter, Jessah! Hoping that this time of research can bring healing and that soon, the Lord will bless you and your husband with a beautiful baby. Hugs my friend!

jAllen said...

I once had a patient who conceive with donor sperm as her partner had male factor issues. Their RE thought he was a candidate for TSE and ICSI, so I asked why they decided to go with donor sperm. His reply "Go through that torture so I can pass on my family history of diabetes and heart disease to my kid? No thank you" (I love they way he said my kid -he was very high risk too has his father had a heart attack in his late 40s) Science shows that we benefit from genetic variation when you look at how many specific population have diseases that are isolated to that population. I know there are so many issues to consider and I wish you the best as you navigate through these next steps. xoxo

Andrea said...

I wish you lived closer to Minnesota! Mayo Clinic is the best in my opinion! I grew up here so I've gone to Mayo my whole life. I don't know if they have a top-notch infertility department in Scottsdale, Arizona, but it may be worth looking into.

Cristy said...

This is certainly a lot to think about. I'm glad you're spending the time to do the research and weigh your options.

Thinking of you as you dive into this process. May is be straightforward and seamless.

KC said...

It is such an overwhelming decision and if you ever want to ask any questions please feel free to contact me. I looked at both anonymous and known donors but when my sister volunteered we took her up on the generous offer. Thinking of you and admiring your strength and desire to build a family.

KC said...

Here is what my opinion is on the following:
1. Known or anonymous donor? I wanted to do known because I figured my child could choose to pursue more information if they wanted in the future. I think it gives you more flexibility down the line.
2. Fresh or frozen egg cycle? Are the costs the same? I have always heard there is a slightly higher success rate with fresh but if the costs were very different I would say go with frozen because if you have an approved donor the difference isn't as much as you'd think. Although if you're like me I would probably not be logical and you'd pay extra for any slight increase in a positive.
3. Exclusive or shared cycle?
Again this would depend on finances. I would choose to be the primary recipient in a shared cycle of a premium donor. As far as I know the odds of getting pregnant with a donor who had a previously successful cycle are higher so I would probably seek someone like that out. Although when I was looking I wasn't too keen on the idea
international or domestic?
I would do domestic because I am a control freak and would need to have quick access to the clinic and I feel like it would reduce any chances of errors (not sure what errors could occur I am just a worrier). Although maybe it is cheaper internationally.
standard or guarantee program?
Hm, this is tough. I got pregnant on my first cycle and also have endometriosis and knew it was my eggs. However as you know IVF is never guarantee so if I could afford it I would have done the shared risk cycle.
in-house or third-party agency?
In house because I like the idea of it being all in one place.

what attorney to use for the legal documents
I have a document you could use

what therapist to use for the required counseling?
If you have insurance make sure you call them first and that the therapist is one that is covered

And what about our donor?
I would choose a donor that resembled me (well the good I think you will know if when you see the "the one".

a donor that has cycled before or a newbie?
My initial thoughts would have been to go with someone new but after thinking about it I would have gone with someone with a proven record because I have seen to many people use a new donor and they end up having fertility problems of their own. Plus a known donor has a protocol that works so she will have better results.

I know this is a daunting task but honestly I am 2 years and 9 months ahead down that road and I have my sweet babies (toddlers) in my arms and they were meant to be mine.

Allison Glover said...

LOVE finding the silver lining in all of this. Looks like you've got all the right questions... Let me know if you want more info on my clinic; they streamline all of this. 😘 My first DE cycle is three months after my last failed cycle ... pretty dang quick.

Jessica said...

Thinking about you and praying for you as you consider all of these decisions. And absolutely LOVING that you are choosing to see the positives in this. You are amazing, Jessah! You will be a wonderful mama, and your children are going to be so lucky to have you:)

Emily said...

Neverending questions! Hang in there Jessah! Check out Advanced Fertility of Chicago for DE rates. I'm pretty sure they were the highest I saw for fresh DE transfers when researching various clinics.

2012 fresh rate = 81.7%
2012 thawed rate = 54.5%
2011 fresh rate = 80%
2011 thawed rate = 53.3%

Aubrey said...

Wow- SO many decisions! I hope they all come to you with lots of peace, my friend. Love you!!

Mrs. Lost said...

That is so much to take in. I love that you have found that silver lining and I will be praying for you guys through this process.

You are going to be such a great mommy some day and your husband is going to be such a great daddy. I can't wait to follow this new journey!

Amie said...

Wow I had no idea, I mean I guess because I have thought of it but not really ya know? These look like some tough decisions and I am praying for you Jessah. I am glad you are able to see a silver lining in some way, I know it's probably so hard.

ty said...

I was an egg donor twice. If you have any questions about the other side of it, please feel free to email me!

shay said...

Wow, that's a lot of decisions, but i'm sure you and your husband will get thru them and be one step closer to your take home baby!

Lilee said...

How overwhelming! I'm excited for you, but I'm sure it feels like you're starting you've learned all about infertility, and now this is something new. If there's anyone that can figure this out, it's you. Wishing you the best in all your decisions!

Kasey A said...

Lots of tough choices but I'm sure you will come to the right answers! Thinking of you!

Caroline said...

Excited for what is next Jessah! Hope you get a peace about all the decisions!

gypsymamasjourney said...

Oh so many questions! We went with an Open ID donor which means once our children reach 18 they can contact him. We were able to see photos (and purchase photos) and there was an essay in the profile written to the children. He was actually the first profile we looked at and we just knew he would be the one. We still looked at many others but it was an easy decision for us to go with the donor we chose because it just felt right. The most important characteristic we were looking for is that the donor shared the same ethnicity & cultural heritage as my husband.

I hope your decision making process is as smooth as ours was. Wishing you the best!!

Aislinn said...

I hate that you have to try and make those tough decisions. However, that silver lining is a pretty good one. Passing on my infertility is something I have always worried about. Even though I know the choices you have to make will be difficult, I hope that they will be the answer to bringing your baby home!

Endo_Life said...

Too many decisions! You will get there though. You found an amazing sillver lining, I am terrified my daughter will end up with endometriosis.

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

Wow that is a lot of things to consider. I had no idea now much had to go into this. Praying that God will tell you quickly and guide you towards your best option.

Kimberly Q said...

Its a huge decision, followed by a whole bunch of decisions! I would love to help you in any way I can - read my blog posts, email, call - whatever you need! Ellen Glazer's book is awesome (and the only good one, in my opinion). Please don't hesitate to reach out - its so much information to process and it helps to have someone to talk to!

JenS said...

The whole thing sounds so daunting, but you will figure it all out. I'm glad you are continuing the fight and hope that donor eggs finally bring you your baby.

SmallTownFamily said...

I knew I picked the right donor when I went back through her profile and noted the hearts all over it! :)

This process is hard, but I found it exciting to be able to pick what I wanted, what was important to me. My husband just picked the women who were most like me. We ended up with the same #1.

If you need a support group/women to talk to, let me know! There's a group of us who were doing PGD/IVF for a variety of health reasons, and there's a satellite group for women using donors (both egg and sperm).

Wishing you all the peace in this new journey. xo

Courtney Wilson said...

Happy to hear of this new chapter you are beginning. I love that Hope Floats (the movie) quote, "beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..."

Suzanna said...

That is a beautifully put silver lining. Praying God gives you peace, and helps guide you through all the decisions you have to make.

Emilee said...

Just stumbled on your page from a like on instagram! I hadn't realized the extent of choices for those who use donors, but it makes me feel even more excited for the couple i donated for! Im crossing my fingers for you!!

Laura @ Making Baby Provence said...

I think it's awesome that you're finding the silver lining. Praying for you during this decision process.

J and A said...

So much to think about. I think it's great to have this option though. Thinking of you and sending you huge hugs.

JoJo said...

I can only imagine what a tough decision this has been. Seems like u have found the silver lining in this situation and in truly happy for u. Looks like there's so much to learn before you can make the ultimate decision. Whatever ur heart feels more comfortable with. Thinking of u.

The Granberrys said...

Praying for you as you make every big and small decision! God has a perfect plan and a perfect baby for you!

Jennifer T said...

There are definitely plenty of decisions to think about. I hope and pray you will be guided and directed as you decide all these things and you will finally have your baby :)

Liz Snowflake said...

I know it's hard to make that leap into the world of third party reproduction. But I, too, found some silver linings when I let go of the genetics. We have quite a few hereditary diseases in my family such as blindness, bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure. It helped make the decision a little easier knowing that these things likely would not be an issue for our little one. In fact, if I were to look at my OWN history on a donor profile, I would have quickly passed on it. That's saying a lot for me, isn't it? I wish you so much luck as you move forward with donor eggs. thinking of you!

Aramis said...

We're going through all of this right now as well, but it pretty much seems like all we could afford is international egg donor which means it would be anonymous and we'd have no choice of donor. So that takes some of the stress away, but adds others. I find I'm having a harder time than I thought with the idea of anonymity, and the rights of the child to know where it comes from. Nothing ever seems easy. I'll probably post on this soon too.

katytrackslife said...

Good on you for doing the careful thinking about the big issues x

Lisamarie said...

Hey lady! Best of luck with all of your decisions. You are always in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I am currently pregnant with a donor conceived child. It was the most confusing part of our infertility journey... which donor to pick, frozen or fresh cycle, how many embryos to transfer and treatment protocol changes. I would love to invite you to the board that got me through this sanely... which has great women, knowledgeable in the subject (usually because of experience).

Anonymous said...

A whole new world right ? I'll say this ... I have an amazing 2 year old via egg donation from the third donor on our list ( first one backed out, second one cancelled cycle during that time I was a monster freak of sadness and grief but now I can only thank all those months of torture that lead up to my perfect little babe

Suzanne said...

SO many questions to consider. It's overwhelming, I know. I know that with CCRM, there was no attorney or legal documents that had to be taken care of. Once the eggs left her body, they were ours. I asked over and over again about this, but apparently, it was all done just through her consents. Hopefully, that makes at least one question easier. :)

Continue to look for that silver lining. It's there. You're going to be a phenomenal mother. I cannot wait for that day. xoxo

Logan said...

These are such difficult decisions... And so many of them are things I never would have thought to consider. But I'm so glad you've found a happy side of things. Your outlook is so inspiring!

Katie Jeanne said...

I'm praying God gives you the guidance you deserve to help you make a decision during this difficult time. It looks like you have some great resources on this blog, so hopefully they will be able to help you out! God bless you!

Mrs B. said...

Best of luck on this knew journey Jessah. I know it's overwhelming but I am so excited for you x

kharini said...

Call me whenever you want. Dr. Jain is close to you and AWESOME! and not expensive! Fresh is better, proven is better. Once you make the decision the rest is very easy really. I'm excited for you! xo

Amber said...

I'm so glad you are moving forward toward using an egg donor. I know it's hard and you've been through a lot to get to this point, but it is honestly so worth it when you finally get your little one(s). You have some tough decisions ahead of you, but you will get through them. Wishing you the very best of luck!

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